IOC officials arrive for orientation seminar

Kyodo

An International Olympic Committee team arrived in Tokyo on Wednesday for the first time since the Japanese capital won the 2020 Olympic bid in Buenos Aires two months ago.

Led by Gilbert Felli, the executive director for the Olympic Games, a four-man IOC team will hold a two-day orientation seminar starting Thursday for Japanese organizers at the Ajinomoto National Training Center.

Felli was greeted by Japanese Olympic Committee President Tsunekazu Takeda upon his arrival, the Swiss offering a big handshake and the words, “Congratulations, Tokyo.”

During the seminar, Felli will be outlining the course of events over the next seven years to Takeda and JOC members, the national federations of the 28 sports for Tokyo, as well as officials from the national and metropolitan governments.

Expected on the agenda will be the makeup of Tokyo’s organizing committee, which will be launched in February.

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori has been linked with the job of heading the committee, though on Wednesday, Japan Sports Association chief Fujio Cho, also the honorary chairman of Toyota Motor Corp., said the position should go to someone “young, like in his 50s.”

“The younger generation should be at the heart of it all,” said the 76-year-old Cho, who has also been mentioned for the job. “I think us old-timers should just be there to support them.”

Felli will summarize the two days with a news conference on Friday.